The History of the Super Bowl


David Peter '25

The Super Bowl is probably one of the best times of the year for me and many others. Not only is it exciting to watch the final two teams in the NFL battle it out for the Lombardi Trophy, but it is also a fun time in which I spend time with my family and friends. The Halftime Show is always amazing and the celebrations at the end of the game are always so emotional. This year, however, I have been wondering about the history of the Super Bowl and why it is so popular in the United States. 

The first Super Bowl was on Jan. 15, 1967. In this game, the heavily favored Green Bay Packers played the Kansas City Chiefs. While the game took place in Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum, 60 million fans watched from home. The Packers were predicted to destroy the Chiefs, but surprisingly, at halftime the Packers maintained just a 14-10 lead.  In the second half, however, Green Bay blew the game open and won 35-10. In this and other early Super Bowls, the halftime shows consisted of marching bands and some singers performing on stage. Surprisingly, this Super Bowl was similar to the ones that we have now. 

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the Super Bowl has continuously become a very popular event in the United States. In fact, Super Bowl XLV was the most watched television program in the history of the United States with 111 million people watching. As time passed, more singers began to perform and more people began to watch as well. Some of the most famous Super Bowl Halftime shows were those of Michael Jackson, U2, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Prince, Beyonce, and Coldplay. Out of these, the most-watched was Katy Perry’s in 2015 with about 118.5 million people watching. Slowly but surely, the Super Bowl became the most exciting and anticipated spectacle in sports. 

One final question I wanted to answer was why football, and especially the Super Bowl, are so popular in the United States. The main reasons why football in general is so popular in the US are things like tailgating, fantasy football, and the significance of each individual game. In sports such as basketball, baseball, and hockey, there are many games, such that if a team has a bad stretch it is possible to make up for it. In the NFL, however, there are only 17 regular season games, and if a team doesn’t start playing well from the beginning, chances are it won’t make the playoffs. This is revealing as to why the Super Bowl is so popular. In most sports like hockey, baseball, and basketball, the finals are a best-of-seven series, whereas the Super Bowl is one game, winner-take-all. This provides far more intensity to the players and the fans watching, hence why the Super Bowl is so popular. 

I can’t wait to watch the Super Bowl this year!